Encyclopedia of Couple and Family Therapy

2019 Edition
| Editors: Jay L. Lebow, Anthony L. Chambers, Douglas C. Breunlin

Enactment in Couple and Family Therapy

  • Kareigh TieppoEmail author
  • Corina Teofilo Mattson
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-49425-8_316


Behavioral rehearsals


Enactments are used as an intervention when the therapist is prepared to target problematic behavior by both assessing and directing the actions and interactions of a client system. Enactments are made for a relational context, as they call for both interaction and recognition of action between clients in the room. In order to better understand what particular problematic processes look like outside of the therapy room, the therapist will impose a structure of conversation in which clients will to talk to one another about a specific topic and the therapist will guide them through it. Participating within this structure, the hope is that the clients may come to find themselves in a new, and perhaps unexpectedly healing, experience as the therapist helps them to interrupt seemingly permanent, problematic sequences. Through practice and repetition, the therapist is able to more directly address the specific points and areas of difficulty within...

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The Family Institute at Northwestern UniversityEvanstonUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Eli Karam
    • 1
  1. 1.University of LouisvilleLouisvilleUSA